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  • Writer's pictureDeborah

Word: Fire

Series: The Word

I Corinthians 3:13 ESV

Daniel 3:13-15 ESV

Daniel 3:16-18 ESV

Daniel 3:24-25 ESV

Daniel 3:29 ESV

Mark 10:27 ESV

I am often reminded of the things I was taught as a child. Because the best way to learn is based on building blocks, we can look to our foundation and build from there.

The foundation matters.

If the foundation was built with straw or even wood, laying heavy blocks on top could cause the foundation to crumble.

The same principles are true in our spiritual lives. Even if we began building our spiritual foundations as an adult, the same is true.

A good foundation matters.

In the first part of I Corinthians 3, Paul discusses the importance of laying a good foundation. He says it’s essential.

I agree.

I Corinthians 3:13 says, “each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.”

When hard times come (the fire) the foundation we’ve laid will determine what happens next.

I am reminded of the children’s song of the wise and foolish builders I sang year after year to young children.

It goes like this:

The wise man built his house upon a rock.

The wise man built his house upon a rock.

The wise man built his house upon a rock and the house on the rock stood firm.

The second verse says:

The foolish man built his house upon the sand.

The foolish man built his house upon the sand.

The foolish man built his house upon the sand and the house on the sand went splat.

I still laugh today because while the boys in children’s church were not usually terribly fond of singing church songs, they LOVED this song. They loved it because when we got to the splat part they could be very animated about the collapse of the house.

The boys in the class always requested that song.

I loved that because my prayer for the children was that as they grew they would remember the song about the wise and foolish builders and they would think about the importance of building their lives on the foundation of Jesus (even if what they remembered was the ‘splat’ part.)

I would tell them:

Jesus is the rock.

The firm foundation.

Jesus is the one who is trustworthy.

See, when we’ve laid a strong foundation in Jesus and we come to a fork in the road (and we all do) we will ask, “which way will lead me to Jesus?”

A few verses later in I Corinthians 3:16, Paul asks, “Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?”

That tells us that when we have trust in Jesus, God’s Spirit resides in us and will guide us through the fire.

Do you remember the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the book of Daniel? In Daniel 3:13-15, the three Hebrew men refused to obey the Babylonian King and worship the golden image god he ordered them to bow down to, “Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”

At that, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego responded in Daniel 3:16-18, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

And so the three Hebrew men were thrown into the super hot fiery furnace that was heated up seven times hotter than normal.

Do you know what happened?

The fire was so hot that it killed the King’s men who threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the furnace!

Yet, we are told in Daniel 3:24-25, “Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”

Ahhhh…Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not in the furnace alone because God protected them!

As a result, when the King saw that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego didn’t even have one hair on their heads singed, the King announced, “Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way.” (Daniel 3:29)

God not only rescued the three men from the fire, the King witnessed what God (THE God) could do!

We are told in Mark 10:27, “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”

Spiritual Practice: All Things Possible

Say that you believe that all things are possible through God. Thank God for walking with you through the fire.

In God, Deborah


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